Princess Cruises third officer Max Bingle has become the youngest recipient of the Merchant Navy Medal for his part in a dangerous rescue mission.
Bingle was on Thursday (12 November) honoured for his efforts to rescue three men, trapped on a sinking boat, while serving onboard Sea Princess in the Caribbean last July.
The 24-year-old answered a distress call, along with two others, and came to the men’s aid in the dead of night, saving the lives of three fellow mariners.
"Everybody onboard acted in the highest maritime tradition by going to the aid of fellow sailors in peril on the sea," said Bingle.
"Saving lives is what we are trained to do as seafarers, and I’m grateful for this recognition."
Maritime minister Robert Courts added Bingle had gone "beyond the call of duty to provide an invaluable service to our sector and our country".
"It’s a special honour to award the medal to Max, its youngest ever recipient," said Courts. "He showed incredible bravery in saving three fellow sailors from drowning in rough seas, and this award is recognition of his incredible selflessness that night."
Princess’s vice-president UK and Europe was among those to hail Bingle’s efforts on social media. "Fantastic to see Princess Cruises third officer Max Bingle from Devon awarded a medal for ‘brave Caribbean rescue’," said Tony Roberts in a tweet.